Wednesday 12 May 2021 7:19 pm

Will you show up? UK hotels fear last-minute cancellation chaos this summer

Holidaymakers are holding on to their UK hotel bookings for this summer, with cancellations rates currently running at just 4 per cent, far below the usual 30 per cent levels.

However, rather than this being good news for the industry, there are fears of a late surge of cancellations, as people ditch their UK booking at the last minute in favour of a holiday abroad, according to data from hotel technology provider Avvio, shared with City A.M. this evening.

“Many holidaymakers have booked both a foreign holiday and a UK stay and our data shows they’re often holding on to both,” Avvio’s chief commercial officer, Michael De Jongh, explained.

“If they decide at the last minute to risk a holiday abroad, a late rush of cancellations in the UK would create chaos across the whole industry as hotels scramble to fill their suddenly vacant rooms. Many of these just won’t be filled, resulting in tens of millions of pounds in lost revenue,” he said.

Moreover, De Jongh stressed it is not just about holidaymakers booking both a stay abroad and one in the UK.

“There’s also a growing trend of booking rooms at multiple UK hotels, with a view to cancelling all but one at the last minute. This causes incredible problems for hotels, in the same way as multiple restaurant bookings did during Eat Out To Help Out,” he concluded.

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